Teaching Strategy for Special Ed Special Education Essay

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Teaching Strategy for Special Ed

Special Education Standard

Direct instruction is the most widely-used teaching strategy, although it has become controversial in recent years. Critics argue that it limits the creativity of good teachers and provides a crutch for poor ones (What is direct instruction? 2011). It is a teacher-centered approach that relies on structured lesson plans, offering little or no variation and no opportunity for discussion or active participation. The effectiveness of direct instruction has been demonstrated widely but it can be a poor choice for students with disabilities who would benefit from another approach.

What is Direct Instruction?

"Direct instruction is a theory of education which posits that the most effective way to teach is by explicit, guided instructions" (What is direct instruction? 2011). Although it is the oldest form of instruction, it gained attention in the 1980s when implemented in the schools of inner-city Baltimore. Instruction was scripted, with prepared lesson plans, specific activities, and worksheets.

Direct instruction is designed to ensure every child gets the same education. It is a way to standardize instruction and eliminate the subjectivity that occurs when teachers select all their own materials and make individual decisions about what kids should know. Direct instruction is often the preferred method of new and inexperienced teachers, as it provides structure and ensures they will sufficiently cover the content required. Unfortunately, just as No Child Left Behind has shown, one size does not fit all. Students vary in ability, interests, and learning styles. Students in the special education classroom may have a particularly difficult time with direct instruction because of their disabilities. Students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have difficulty engaging in a lecture and would learn much better kinesthetically.

The National…

Sources Used in Document:


Adams, G., and Carnine, D. (2003). Direct instruction. National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities. Retrieved from http://nichcy.org/research/summaries/abstract1

National Institute for Direct Instruction. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nifdi.org/15/

What is direct instruction? (2011). Teach-nology. Retrieved from http://www.teach-


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